Friday, June 04, 2010

Cavite police chief, 17 more cops face murder raps

MANILA, Philippines - Double murder and frustrated murder charges were filed before the Department of Justice on Wednesday morning against 18 policemen for the killing of 2 security aides of a former congressman on May 10.

Leading the respondents was Senior Superintendent Primitivo Tabujara Jr., director of the Cavite provincial police office.

The other policemen charged were Superintendent Ramil Montilla, Chief Inspector Christopher Olazo, Senior Police Officer (SPO) 4 Jimmy Narag, SPO2 ariel panganiban, SPO1 Janelito Dinglasan, Police Officers 3 Ricardo Poblete, Salvador Cesma, Domingo Garcia, Police Officers 2 Alvin Sinko, Wilfred Casalme, Renato Bayo, Bobby Zamora, and Police Officer 1 Rafael Rodriguez.

The charges filed stemmed from an encounter between the security team of former congressman Plaridel "Del" Abaya and the policemen in front of the Bacoor Municipal Police Station on election day.

Abaya's chief security officer, retired police senior superintendent Arnulfo Obillos, and security aide Navy Petty Officer 2 Juanito Paraiso were killed in the supposed encounter.

Abaya's lawyer, Rex Robles, said evidence recorded by the police's scene-of-the-crime office and eye witness accounts show that Obillos and Paraiso were shot at close range, which is contrary to claims of the policemen that they were killed in a shootout.

Robles added that Paraiso, who died of multiple gunshot wounds, including 2 in the head, tested negative for gunpowder nitrates which showed that they did not fire back at the policemen.

The lawyer told reporters that the filing of the criminal charges against the policemen goes beyond politics and that they were simply seeking justice for the families of Obillos and Paraiso.

Grabbed from abs-cbnNEWS.com
Posted at 06/02/2010 12:51 PM | Updated as of 06/02/2010 11:17 PM

My pulis take:

Two nights ago, I saw on GMAs early evening news 24 Oras the video footages taken by somebody moments before the alleged shoot out occured. I believe that the policemen involved in the incident are justified in the use of force. Many people will say that I am biased for the cops, and I admit I may be, but let me explain.

Early in the video footage, it can be seen that Obillos was grappling with a cop for the M-60 machine gun. Accounts differ later whether Obillos actually got control of the gun. However, the mere act of Obillos of touching the gun of the cop is already enough fatal trigger. Many will not understand this but here is the explanation:

Cops are armed for a purpose. If you notice, other private people are also allowed to carry firearms but only the cops and other authorities in uniform are allowed to do so openly and in full view of the public. All others are admonished to keep their firearms away from sight. This permission to cops and authorities are embedded with both symbolic and tactical reasons.

First, the cop is a symbol of government authority. He is the frontline representative of the government and his uniform is the symbol of that authority. The gun is part of his uniform.

That brings us to the second reason, which is tactical in nature. In the course of the job of the cop of discharging his duties in maintaining peace and order and other government regulations, it is always assumed that there will be people who will opt not to submit to this authority. It is also assumed that these people will hurt the cop if the latter intervenes in their affair. Anyone who would dispute this can try an experiment or two: Without carrying a gun, try to stop or pacify two people beating each other to hell. Or try stopping a burglar emerging from the shop he had just robbed. Obviously, the one intervening needs to have an absolute advantage over the people he is intevening on. It is not acceptable that the authorities give a "fair fight" to suspects. Every intervention must always be to the advantage of the authorities, usually symbolized by the cop. This is upheld in Supreme Court jurisprudence. No government takes risks with their cops' lives on the line to give a fair fight. Anyone who would dispute this should try being a barangay tanod for a night. With this backdrop, it is obvious that the only real instrument that can maintain this advantage is the GUN DISPLAYED OPENLY.

Col Obillos most probably knew very well as a retired officer that his action of attempting to take away that advantage is a disaster in the making. And a disaster it actually turned out to be.

As for the case of Navy Petty Officer 2 Juanito Paraiso, I saw in the footage that he was holding the hand of a cop, presumably to prevent the latter from drawing his pistol. As a navy man not trained in police work, Paraiso must have not known that what he did was also fatal. Here is the explanation:

Cops here and abroad are taught this lesson right at the very start: ALWAYS BE ONE STEP AHEAD. For those interested, you can read the book "Tactical Edge" by Charles Remsberg. (http://www.amazon.com/Tactical-Edge-Surviving-High-Risk-Patrol/dp/093587805X) This book is the "Bible" of street patrolmen in almost all US police forces. This means that in any situation, the policemen must anticipate potential dangers and the most dangerous weapon out there is a gun. One has to undertand the basic force continuum in the use of the gun: for a gun carrying individual, to use the gun, one has to follow the following steps in order. 1. if the gun is concealed, like tucked in the waist or placed inside a bag, one has to take it out first in the open or open that bag or raise that shirt. 2. Second is to hold that gun. 3. The third step is to draw that gun. 4. The next step is to aim that gun. 5. And the last step is to fire that gun. To emphasize the obvious, steps 1 to 5 may take less than a second to a skilled gun user.

That cop in the video sees armed people all around him at that moment. In this scenario, you do not leave your gun unchecked in the holster where it can be grabbed. Likewise, you can get shot anytime during that moment. The most practical way of checking that your gun is still in your holster and at the same time be one step ahead of others, is to place your hand over your gun (without drawing it of course). This is what the navy man must have failed to understand. He grabbed the hand of the cop shouting, "Wag mong bunutin yan!" This is his second fatal mistake. You do not tell a cop what he is supposed to do, especially in things relating to his self defense. In that case, if you think that the cop is about to draw his weapon, the correct reaction of a civilian is to surrender by raising his hand or to just simply run away. In that particular incident that took place in a very public location, either of the two options would be the wisest move. If you have complaints against the actions of the cops, then you can take that up later (ALIVE of course) with the courts, the NAPOLCOM, the DILG, the PLEB, the Mayor, the IAS, the COP, the PD, the RD, the Chief PNP, the CHR, the Civil Service Commission, the OMBUDSMAN, or if all these formal channels fail, the media. Yes Virginia, ganun karami ang disciplinary authorities na pwedng magimbestiga at magsuspinde ng mga pulis! But Paraiso chose to take matters in his own hands literally. And the result is fatal.

4 comments:

  1. Pulisnapogi, i was once a cop for 12 years and spent 8 years of it as Provincial IAS Investigator in ZDSPPO, PRO9 and I absolutely agree with you.

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  2. thanks sir! i think the cavite cops are getting the short end of the stick in terms of media exposure in this case.

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  3. hi;pogi k daw ako si babyjane cooper na naging friend mo sa bacolod sa dejabu do you remember miz you jhun.

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  4. naalala m ba nung pumunta tyo sa bundok sa don salbador benidicto pogi k tlaga sobra

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